Page 4 - Fall 2011

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Getting Your House Ready for Fall
By Sara Lewis
Here are some things to check in on as the days get shorter and crisper:
Inside the House:
1. Change the air filter on your furnace and check its efficiency -- call your HVAC
contractor if need be to test the heating output and give the system a tune-up.
Also have them check for possible hazardous amounts of carbon monoxide
output generated by your heating system.
2. Stock up on a few air filters for the winter, and be sure to change them every
month, as you will be using your heating system in those months more than
any other time of the year.
3. Take a moment to inspect your heating ducts and vents. Dust them and clear
away anything that may have gotten into them during the summer.
4. Check your windows and doors for any air leaks that may negatively affect
your heating efficiency. If you feel cold air coming in, go out and buy a plastic
sealing kit from the hardware store and place the plastic around the window to
keep the heat from escaping.
5. If you normally use your fireplace often during the fall and winter months, call a
chimney sweep for an inspection.
Outside the House:
6. Inspect and clean your gutters a few times during the fall, especially if there
are a lot of leafy trees near your house. If this is not done and the gutters
remain clogged, water could spill over and collect near the foundation, which
could ultimately damage the foundation.
7. Rake leaves on your lawn into piles and scoop them into yard waste bags.
8. Disconnect garden hoses and, if practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and
drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces chances of
9. Empty out any unused fuel from gas-powered equipment that is normally
stored in the garage, such as lawnmowers. This reduces the chance of
sediment building up and clogging the fuel lines.
10. Make sure you have an emergency generator if you live in an area that is
prone to heavy snow and ice storms that may cause blackouts during the
winter. If you do already have one, bring it out of storage and make sure it’s in
good working order.
As long as these all these important home maintenance tips are followed, you
should be good to go for fall! Happy leaf-raking!